Landscape, or nonformalistic rambling, perhaps better ignored

The other night I had a dream that I was reading something in landscape format. It was a printout, several pages stapled together—not all along the edge or in the corner like you might expect, but only one page to the next, in what looked to be an accordion style.

I didn’t get very far, I was only looking at pages 2 and 3 I think. And the bottom of page 1, which relayed a childhood anecdote, or maybe just a summary of the immediate family of, the person the article was about. A baseball player. Maybe Zach Stewart, who had pitched seven perfect innings(1)against the Twins the previous night. It was a printout from a baseball site.

Anyway, now I’m inspired to write something in landscape mode. I’m not sure what style of writing best optimizes landscape mode, though I’m guessing most forms of poetry would not be it. Maybe something with lots of paragraphs long enough to spill over among even the long lines, though not necessarily taking up very many lines.

Or short ones, once in a while, to spice it up.(2)

I think there were some in the article I dream-read. Short-paragraphs, that is. Although maybe they didn’t come till later.

Self-deprecating remark about how bad my writers’ block must be if I have to drop them in this early. Apologetic remark about not posting to the blog that much, even though I have free time.

      1. Winking acknowledgment of how readership is not that high, anyway, so it’s all good! Obviously sarcastic shoutout to the trawling spambots.
      2. Incomplete ruminations about how, if I don’t know what to write even though I have free time, then stuff. Conclusions. Or not.
          1. Tentative conclusions about my fanhood, as drawn from the fact that I am, in fact, listening to my favorite team play right now.
          2. Other conclusions regarding the fact that I am not really engaged in the game.
              1. In my defense, my increasing frustration with the play-by-play announcer for said team. As evidence, cite what percentage of my Twitter feed consists of complaining about him.

A few nights before the aforementioned dream(5), I dreamed I was in a bookstore. I found some five-line poems. Not formalistic, I don’t think, just short things. One of them struck me as something I could parody to be about baseball. Of course, I forgot it all when I woke up.

Or maybe, I could write things and parody them myself? Variations on a theme.

A swing and a miss.
Bats go around. So does time.
You can take your whacks
Or you can take.
And when you don’t miss?

To hit is violent.(6)

Also my wifi kind of fits and starts, which prevents me from listening to the game, but only momentarily.

Now, see, I have another short paragraph, which I didn’t mean to be so abrupt. Of course, I could have gotten around that by editing in the wifi somewhere else. Given the increasingly solipsistic likelihood that this post will have little to nothing to do with any particular ongoing action, I really have no excuse.

To hit is violent, whereas to miss is—undesirable? Socially necessary? Taken for granted?

Can one miss what one
Has never had? Which one?
If one has had, and has not,
Is that enough for all to miss?
Is not one enough?

There are no images, there. I would not have turned that in in my poetry classes. It is lineated, to get to five, which came to me in a dream, which is a pretty dumb way to get all your ideas…

I do not miss the slow embarrassing pauses,
but the words rushed to fill them.
That had something to do with something
I do not miss whatever has left a void,
but I hate the words poured into it, never stopping.

Dumb, not quite pretentious(7), but…stereotypically teenage? (I am not a teenager.) Trying too hard to use big words, I’d say if I ran across that, I think. Except I wasn’t. “void” isn’t that big.

I like happiness.
Mine, yours, whoever’s.
I dislike unhappiness.
Mine, yours, whoever’s.
Why am I strange?

Also stereotypically teenage, at least the last line. Tck.

Other dreams I have had about baseball, since I started keeping the diary, include me attending a game with glass behind the seats. Like hockey. And one where I was “listening to “Talking Baseball”8 but it was different.” (That day someone suggested that (a different) Cashman would take over as the Cubs’ general manager, so perhaps a marginally prophetic one.

Curious jump over to the other team’s broadcasters. Just in case.

1He was the starting pitcher. As is somewhat implied by the phrasing “seven perfect innings.” If I’d mentioned “Abner Bloggs had pitched two perfect innings last night” you’d probably assume he was a reliever. Where is the cutoff between these assumptions? I’m going to say four or more implies starter, less reliever, but could be wrong.

2Possible functions of short paragraphs: humorous taglines? Useful for dryly humorous first-person narrators. Or abrupt switches in topic? Sometimes for drama. <p> Sometimes to undercut the previous buildup. Note my use of the html tag that signifies a new paragraph3,4, rather than actually starting a new paragraph. Intending set an earnest-ish tone. Dryly humorous, granted.

But still earnest.

3 I wonder how this will look when I do the copy-and-paste HTML trick I do for blogging purposes.

4 I need to manually do these footnotes-in-footnotes.

5I’ve started keeping a dream diary. It helps me remember some.

6Working against the George Carlin quote, “Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting, and unnecessary roughness.Baseball has the sacrifice.”

7I don’t use this word very much. Not because it’s not relevant to some things I’d like to say, but because I’m pretty sure most of the people I would be describing with it aren’t pretending.

8Those are straight quotes in OpenOffice where I wrote this at first, in landscape, as opposed to the others being smart quotes. I use Notepad for the diary!


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